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Agent-Based Models of Organizations

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  • Myong-Hun Chang
  • Joseph E Harrington Jr

Abstract

The agent-based approach views an organization as a collection of agents, interacting with one another in their pursuit of assigned tasks. The performance of an organization in this framework is determined by the formal and informal structures of interactions among agents, which define the lines of communication, allocation of information processing tasks, distribution of decision-making authorities, and the provision of incentives. This chapter provides a synthesis of various agent-based models of organizations and surveys some of the new insights that are being delivered. The ultimate goal is to introduce the agent-based approach to economists in a methodological manner and provide a broader and less idiosyncratic perspective to those who are already engaging in this line of work. The chapter is organized around the set of research questions that are common to this literature: (1) What are the determinants of organizational behavior and performance? (2) How does organizational structure influence performance? (3) How do the skills and traits of agents matter and how do they interact with structure? (4) How do the characteristics of the environment--including its stability, complexity, and competitiveness--influence the appropriate allocation of authority and information? (5) How is the behavior and performance influenced when an organization is coevolving with other organizations from which it can learn? (6) Can an organization evolve its way to a better structure?

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics in its series Economics Working Paper Archive with number 515.

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Date of creation: Sep 2004
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Handle: RePEc:jhu:papers:515

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  1. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Scholarly Articles 4554125, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  3. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr. & Myong-Hun Chang, 2002. "Co-Evolution of Firms and Consumers and the Implications for Market Dominance," Computing in Economics and Finance 2002 234, Society for Computational Economics.
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  27. Janssen, Marco A. & Ostrom, Elinor, 2006. "Governing Social-Ecological Systems," Handbook of Computational Economics, in: Leigh Tesfatsion & Kenneth L. Judd (ed.), Handbook of Computational Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 30, pages 1465-1509 Elsevier.
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  30. Barr, Jason & Saraceno, Francesco, 2005. "Cournot competition, organization and learning," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(1-2), pages 277-295, January.
  31. Myong-Hun Chang & Joseph E. Harrington, Jr, 2003. "Multimarket Competition, Consumer Search, and the Organizational Structure of Multiunit Firms," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(4), pages 541-552, April.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Kočišová, J. & Horváth, D. & Brutovský, B., 2009. "The efficiency of individual optimization in the conditions of competitive growth," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 388(17), pages 3585-3592.
  2. Francesco Saraceno & Jason Barr, 2004. "Cournot Competition and Endogenous Firm Size," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 129, Society for Computational Economics.
  3. Borrill, Paul L. & Tesfatsion, Leigh, 2010. "Agent-Based Modeling: The Right Mathematics for the Social Sciences?," Staff General Research Papers 31674, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  4. repec:tur:wpapnw:8 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Jason Barr & Francesco Saraceno, 2004. "Organization, Learning and Cooperation," Sciences Po publications 2004-001, Sciences Po.
  6. Jason Barr & Francesco Saraceno, 2005. "Modeling the Firm as an Artificial Neural Network," Working Papers Rutgers University, Newark 2005-011, Department of Economics, Rutgers University, Newark.
  7. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/6782 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Concetta Sorropago, 2012. "Incentive Design and Manager Performances: an ABM Approach," Working papers 008, Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino.
  9. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/9832 is not listed on IDEAS

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